It’s official: Lynn’s Map redirects on 2020 Kentucky Derby trail

January 18, 2020 11:30am
It’s official: Lynn’s Map redirects on 2020 Kentucky Derby trail
Photo: Hodges Photography

Trainer Mark Casse followed through Saturday with plans to change Lynn’s Map’s starting point on the 2020 Kentucky Derby trail.

The son of Liam’s Map, a Fair Grounds allowance winner in his last start, was stuck wide in his draw for the Lecomte Stakes (G3) and scratched from post 14, Casse said in an appearance on the Horse Racing Radio Network’s Equine Forum.

HRH Prince Sultan Bin Mishal Al Saud’s Lynn’s Map will instead go as one of the top choices in Oaklawn Park’s Smarty Jones Stakes next Friday on the track’s season-opening card.

“He’s a very nice horse. He’s done well so far. We’re excited to have him,” Casse said on Equine Forum. “He’s taken one step. He took another step. Now it’s the big step.

“It’s the step to say, can you run with the best 3-year-olds in North America? We’ll have to wait a week to find out.”

Third in his Sept. 29 debut going seven furlongs at Churchill Downs, Lynn’s Map broke his maiden going a mile on Nov. 8. In his most-recent appearance Dec. 21 at Fair Grounds, he chased down fellow Lecomte entrant Mr. Monomoy for a head victory in a 1-mile, 70-yard race in the slop.

Despite the outside post in the Lecomte, Lynn’s Map landed at 5-1 on the morning line. His defection will allow others to move up in priority ahead of post time Saturday, 6:55 p.m. ET.

Lynn’s Map meanwhile drew post 8 of 9 in the Smarty Jones, which runs around a two-turn mile at Oaklawn and offers the same number of Kentucky Derby qualifying points (10-4-2-1 to the Top 4) as the Lecomte. His main rivals in this event appear to be from the Steve Asmussen barn with Silver Prospector, Shoplifted and Gold Street all last-out stakes winners.

Casse will still be represented in the Lecomte, a race he won a year ago with the eventual Preakness Stakes hero War of Will, by Enforceable. The trainer called the colt’s pedigree “humongous” as a full brother of the Grade 2 winner Mohaymen.

“He’s a horse we’ve liked a lot, but he’s just been extremely slow to come around,” Casse added on Equine Forum.

Enforceable, who broke his maiden going nine panels at Saratoga, is Grade 1-placed since then but without a victory. He drew post 10 and sits at 15-1.

Overall, Casse said of his 3-year-old class, “We are not on the same page as we were a year ago.”

In addition to War of Will’s exploits, of course, Sir Winston won the Belmont Stakes for the barn.

Among his other sophomores to watch is Untitled, a Florida-bred recently privately purchased and transferred to Casse. He goes second out in the Swale Stakes (G3) at Gulfstream Park, while Casse’s so-called “B team” of Strike Appeal and Race Driver will look to move up in a Saturday allowance at Fair Grounds.

“Hopefully after today we can call one of them an ‘A,’” Casse said. “We’ll see.”

2020 Smarty Jones Stakes (LS)

 

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